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October 2019

Aim, load, fire! 1024 341 IMPACT Accelerator

Aim, load, fire!

Aim, load, fire!

No matter what business you are in, you need clients to sell. Whether your activity focus on B2B, B2C or any other acronyms, you will have to plan and execute different strategies to attract new clients, retain those that you captured already or upgrade them.

From all those activities, bringing new clients, whether they are consumers or other business, is one of the most difficult challenges, as there is no one success formula. Certainly, there are different strategies that worked, have worked and will work with higher or lower results, but only if your potential targets already know your brand and/or service. 

Moreover, does it make sense to apply the same strategies for companies in different markets, different product stages or different industries? At first glance the common sense tells us that it doesn’t sound right. 

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To start with, there are different development stages (Products or Services) focusing and targeting different population segments. As Diffusion of Innovation Theory (DOI) defends innovation expands into a society according to 5 different population groups, as shown in the table above. Those population groups have different interests and needs. According to that theory it makes sense to segment your targets and update your communication strategies.

For instance, if we are a startup pursuing growth and looking to increase our user base or upgrade our service. 

  1. Where do we acquire those users? 
  2. Are we pursuing the right user at the right time? 

Being familiar with DOI is crucial not only for product manager but also to marketers. All stakeholders in any enterprise trying to engage with users, clients or partners should be familiar with DOI. This theory is basically just the concept of opportunity cost of consuming any service or product based on the development phase as well as market knowledge. 

Not all users of yours, whether they are already in your platform or not, develop trust and respect for your service, brand, company at the same speed. This is why it is so important to segment and classify all of those according to what their opportunity cost would be. Once you excel in doing it, marketing and customer success strategies will excel as well, because they will handle specific “timing needs”.

Timing, educational needs or trust will vary from industries, products or regions. However, within that framework your potential target or customer will always be divided in the population groups shown above. Meaning: before planning any strategy, we should think of the characteristics of every single group. That will help us to design and tailor better tactics, sorting out potential customers and indirectly tackle our need to acquire more users and grow the business.

Sort it out Partner – Customer needs & yours will be automatically solved.

Any Startup or any other enterprise should consider its market as following before launching or pushing any service or product.

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  • INNOVATORS – These are people who want to be the first to try the innovation. These people are willing to take risks, and therefore also willing to take the pain in early phases:
    1. Reward their willingness to take the pain, as this could bring them on board for longer, and enhance the word of mouth.
      a) Usually, lower CAC but high retention cost.
  • EARLY ADOPTERS – These are people who represent opinion leaders. They enjoy leadership roles and embrace change opportunities. They are already aware of the need to change and therefore very comfortable adopting new ideas:
    1. Those that kick the breakthrough off, is where the growth comes from.
      a) CAC on this population group increase and on top of that it needs leaders to back up. Therefore, strategies focusing on innovators are still needed.
  • EARLY MAJORITY – These people are rarely leaders, but they do adopt new ideas before the average person. That said, they typically need to see evidence that the innovation works before they are willing to adopt it: 
    1. Strategies such as Business cases generate really positive results.
      a) Mass market strategies and more operational strategies. CAC decrease, although taking a look at Churn Rate is crucial.
  • LATE MAJORITY – These people are skeptical of change and will only adopt an innovation after it has been tried by the majority: 
    1. Strategies to appeal to this population include information as well as branding.
      a) High cost generates low incremental results.
  • LAGGARDS – These people are bound by tradition and very conservative. They are very skeptical of change and are the hardest group to bring on board:
    1. Strategies to appeal to this population include statistics, fear appeals, and pressure from people in the other adopter groups.

With these points in mind, designing and thinking how to sort out customer needs and how to pay off their opportunity cost, would help you to get better impact on your marketing strategies. Moreover, having DOI in mind will let you figure out what your CAC or LTV  will look like.

Photo by Karine Germain on Unsplash

About the author

I started my career working in high demanding roles learning from clients, managers & C levels. I love the entrepreneurial and startup ecosystem, which shape and build the future innovation above and beyond. Having 15+ years of experience in different fields, what I bring to the table is a diverse and transversal point of view. My mind is always working to solve potential issues in particular situations and proposing different actionable alternatives.

All in all, I have developed a personal, deep understanding of the skills that any company needs to ensure that their teams deliver and build value following the company’s mission. I truly believe that why is more important that what.

I am driven by curiosity which can be demonstrated through my ventures in professional, volunteering and my personal life.

In IMPACT, we proud ourselves of having the best mentors for the startups that go through our programs.
Ángel Araujo is a Specialised & Follow-up mentor for at least 10 startups from the IMPACT Growth & IMPACT Connected Car acceleration programs.

His extensive experience goes from working in companies like Google and Booking.com, just to name a few and he is one of the founding partners of unlockmanagement.coangel@unlockmanagement.com

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How Ontruck is killing it at product development 1024 767 IMPACT Accelerator

How Ontruck is killing it at product development

A few tips to ace product development

Original Twitter thread here

I was talking to a CPO and a senior Project Manager of a startup from California that just raised a round of more than $200 million. One hour into the conversation, one of them said to me: “It seems that you have done all you can do,” with a sigh of resignation at not being able to give me much more advice.

We might not be doing that bad here in Spain 😉

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By popular request, I am going to share a few aspects of product development in which I think we are doing a pretty good damn job:

  1. Having product teams with clear responsibilities. It must be clear who owns each KPI. Set quarterly goals (OKRs is one way). Review them bi-weekly. Make the dependencies clear.[1]
  2. Give more responsibility to the team, let designers and engineers be the ones who solve problems and define solutions. It is not the stakeholder’s or PM’s task. The PM is the ultimate decision-maker in vision and scope.[2]
  3. Invest a lot of effort in understanding your users; visit and talk with your customers every week. Shadow your clients for a day to understand their internal pains. Validate your hypotheses and prototypes with them.[3]
  4. Sharpen and reduce the scope as much as you can. Validate the hypotheses one by one by launching phases. Talk to your customers, don’t just trust the data. Designers and engineers will get nervous, but it’s ok; the important thing is to find out quickly whether you are heading in the right direction.
  5. Involve the rest of the departments from the beginning. Learn from them. Share your ideas and prototypes to get feedback and be challenged. Don’t be a lab rat. Work as an operations or sales agent to understand their pains.
  6. In companies where billing is complex, the product must be nearby because at the end of the chain is where you can clearly see the failures in the process (sales agreements that went through but were not documented properly, poor communication by ops…)

By the way, the other day I did a podcast, tackling these and other key points such as team philosophy and more. It’s a good companion to this post!

About the author

Javier Escribano is currently co-founder and Chief Product Officer at Ontruck, a digital road freight transport company. Previously, he was co-founder and CPO at Touristeye (a travel startup acquired by Lonely Planet. He has an Information & Technology Management Master at IIT Chicago, and a Computer Science and Electrical Engineering Degree at UPM Madrid.

In IMPACT, we proud ourselves of having the best mentors for the startups that go through our programs. Javier is a Specialized & Follow-up Mentor in IMPACT.

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xMotion – Disrupting the check engine light 1024 683 IMPACT Accelerator

xMotion – Disrupting the check engine light

xMotion - Disrupting the check engine light

Modern cars are more computerized than ever. Though with all the technology going into cars today, why isn’t there a better technology to monitor the fatigue points on a vehicle?

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With over 30yrs+ experience in the Automotive Industry, xMotion’s co-founders felt they could build a solution that would make vehicle maintenance more transparent and affordable. So in October of 2018, they sat down together and founded xMotion on a simple idea – to disrupt the check engine light.

While working on a prototype of the algorithm for brake pad prediction, they realized that in order to be successful, they would have to build a platform that was device agnostic, so they could work with any Tier 1 or OEM’s embedded firmware as well as aftermarket OBD dongles.

With drive-by-wire technology becoming more prevalent, the need to independently monitor vehicle components in real-time is increasingly important for safety reasons. Therefore xMotion identified over 200+ data points on a vehicle that provide embedded messages on the vehicle health. Coming from the industry, the founders knew that these data points could be organized in meaningful ways and shared with the car owner. Though unlike a computer, vehicle diagnostics aren’t typically shared with the driver. The challenge was to make it easy for the driver to understand their vehicle’s data. To solve this, xMotion created a Mobile App that provides real-time indicators of the vehicle health for brakes, tires, steering systems, and batteries.

Today there are over 5,000+ registered users on the platform. With ample opportunity in front of them, xMotion is currently focusing on rolling out their platform for roadside assistance operators both in Europe and the U.S. To keep aligned with the vision of xMotion – to disrupt the check engine light – the company is creating a ecosystem of garages that will provide discounts and cashback rewards for using the platform.

Things move fast in the startup world. In the years to come xMotion will build a full digital twin of the vehicle and provide car owners with additional access to their vehicle data. This technology, according to xMotion’s founders “Will be a gamechanger” for the automotive industry.

*We asked Thurston for a team picture, this is what he sent XD

Featured image by Free Photos from Pixabay

About the author

Thurston Adams is a Paris-based entrepreneur with a successful history in taking an automotive start-up company from idea to commercialization.  The foundation of xMotion is inspired by Thurston’s belief that “Modern cars are increasingly computerized” and that the connected car has many fatigue points that can be monitored and tracked in order to prevent vehicle accidents. His passion for emerging technology in the Automotive Industry has led him to create xMotion. Thus xMotion’s vision is to transform the automotive industry by creating a Vehicle Health Monitoring Platform for connected and self-driving cars.  According to Thurston, the mission of xMotion is to Disrupt the Check Engine Light.

In IMPACT, we believe that startups are the ones changing this world. Their story is content worth sharing.
xMotion is part of our IMPACT Connected Car Acceleration Program. Thurston Adams and Laurent Dunys, co-founders, working alongside with Mark Howell are indeed the ones disrupting the check engine light.

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